Restaurant review: Fifteen, N1

�It’s hard to believe that it’s a decade since Fifteen first opened it’s doors using – as they put it – the magic of food to give unemployed young people a chance of a better future.

Where do the years go? But it’s true, this admirable concept restaurant, the profits of which all go to the Better Food Foundation, has been running for 10 years, so we popped down to see if it had aged well, like a cheese.

A street food festival was taking place outside during our visit which meant there was a nice bustling vibe as we approached.

We were a few minutes late and were told our table wasn’t quite ready, so we had a couple of the signature cocktails and admired the sleek interior while we waited.

To start we have the shared mixed platter with delicious plump Puglian olives. The salami was good, the ham okay and the aubergine tasty, but the star of the show was the fantastic mozzarella balls, firm on the outside and decadently gooey in the middle.

Next up we had the seafood stew, a kind of chowder with plenty of juicy fish and crustaceans. The broth wasn’t that flavoursome and need a bit of salt. Mopping up the remains with crusty bread was a treat though.

We also had the lamb, which was a tender and succulent cut served nice and rare. There was a big ring of fat round it, which is not a problem per se, but it meant not much meat for �27.

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I wasn’t entirely convinced that it worked with the red pepper accompaniment either – their flavour rather overpowered the lamb and excellent garlic pesto.

To finish, a British cheese board – with a mixture of crumbly affairs and a couple moist, cheeky numbers – and a slightly dry brownie which was a bit disappointing.

The best part of the meal was having a sommelier who, for �25, will match wine to your three courses.

It was a lovely touch – she made some excellent choices and explained them in detail. Most interesting was the cloudy, dry, organic prosecco with the meat platter,

Fifteen is a a good meal out, and certainly a worthy cause, but perhaps a touch on the pricey side for what’s on offer.